Activists representing PSAC’s Directly Chartered Locals (DCLs) gathered in Montreal from November 2 - 4 to discuss strategies to build membership strength and win better working conditions for their members. Directly Chartered Locals have been part of the PSAC for more than 20 years. Over 30,000 members are represented by these locals.
Diverse sectors were represented, including gaming, University workers, municipal government workers, Indigenous and community organizations, research and development workers and security and law enforcement. Members of DCLS discussed creative bargaining and mobilization strategies that they have successfully used to win better wages, working conditions and benefits. Activists shared ideas for change and improvement in how PSAC represents members of DCLs.
Chris Aylward, National President, addressed the members, stressing the importance of listening and learning from each other and being open to change so that the Union can be stronger.
“We know that precarious work is more prevalent than ever,” said Aylward. “But with the strength of 180,000 members from all over Canada, we are prepared to fight for better and more permanent jobs for our members.”
Representatives of DCLs discussed how best to address precarious work. At the 2018 Triennial Convention, PSAC members adopted a resolution to advocate for fair and just working conditions for precarious workers.
On average, the number of employees with a temporary job has been growing at a faster pace than those with a permanent job since 1997. A 2015 PSAC survey indicated that just over 1/3 of PSAC respondents reported being in a “precarious” or “vulnerable” employment situation.
Precarious workers tend to have a much lower personal income and are less likely to have a private income retirement plan or employment benefits. They are also more hesitant to raise health and safety concerns for fear of reprisal.
Recently elected Member of the National Assembly of Quebec, Alexandre Leduc, spoke to the members on Sunday. Leduc is a former activist with the PSAC DCL representing academic workers at the Université de Quebec à Montreal (UQAM). He spoke about using the lessons he learned as a student and union activist to get elected to the National Assembly, as well as the vision and program of Quebec Solidaire.